31 December 2011

Greetings from 2012

We're 18 hours ahead of Texas time, and I am happy to report that all is well on this side of the date line. We went to a family barbeque with our hosts Chris, Paula, and their son, Noah, where we introduced armadillo eggs to a few brave kiwis.

After reading our friend Natalie's blog this morning, I was inspired to post a recap of our year in photos. It's making me nostalgic, and I can only hope 2012 will be as wonderful.

2011 has been a pretty great year, and we said hello to it with Sam's family in Charleston, celebrating his brother Harrison's New Years Day birthday (happy early birthday, Harry!) January came to a lovely close when we flew to San Francisco to spend a few days with some of our best friends. From coast to coast, it was a great month.

Thomas ran around it like Where the Wild Things Are
Christmas tree bonfire in Charleston
Silly photos in San Francisco

We didn't have to wait long to see our friend Brady again, because he flew out to Texas in February for a week of desert fun.

On a hill
With Brady in New Mexico

March and April flew by as we prepared for another trip to Charleston when Sam's sister Sarah wed Ted at the end of April. We also prepared for a bigger trip as our working holiday visas were approved for New Zealand!

Jam session in Charleston

In May, I found a horny toad for the fist time since I was a kid! Later that month we had another animal encounter, this time with two stray dogs and a lamb who turned up outside our apartment early in the morning.


This summer, Sam's family was able to visit us in Texas from South Carolina. It's only the second time our families have all been together, and it was a happy reunion. We packed as much West Texas into the trip as we could in 10 days, from the sand dunes of Monahans to cowboy hat and boot shopping at Pee Wee Dalton's.


In August, our last days in Texas flew by, and we seemed to be almost entirely focused on our move. In no time we were on a plane to Los Angeles, where we spent a few memorable days with friends. From LA we flew to Auckland, where we spent the first half of September. Next we went to the Northlands and worked on an alpaca farm, meeting nice people along the way and thoroughly enjoying our new way of life.

Goodbye alpacas

In October we passed through Auckland again on our way to the Coromandel Peninsula, one of our favorite places in New Zealand so far. From the Coromandel we moved south to Rotorua, Taupo & Palmerston North on our way to Wellington. After an unexpected visit to Otaki we made it to the capital.

Sam and Blaze
Goldfish Plant

With "fall" came updates from friends about the chilly air, pumpkin pies and family time and we really started to miss home. As much as we love New Zealand, I don't think we could make this distance permanent.

Cloudy day

From Nelson to Kaikoura to Christchurch, December has been a good month in great company. We've dabbled in house sitting and experienced our first earthquake. We had the three year anniversary of the day we met. Has it really only been three years?  For that matter, has 2011 really been just one?

This year we've gone from one side of the world to the other, loving it all. I hope your 2011 has been wonderful, and I hope your 2012 is even better.

One of my favorite memories this year was babysitting my cousin Hannah,
who turned 2 today. Happy birthday, Hannah! Don't forget us!


Jeannie said...

Yes, you have had a memorable year! Those last two photos made me think you were going to say "Happy Birthday" to Hannah, who would be 2 TODAY if she were with you! But, alas, she'll have to wait, like Harrison, for the stroke of midnight in her (his) own timezone. LOL

Kristen said...

You're right! I added it. I was just so sleepy when I finished that blog post at 2 am that I didn't think about it.

wishful nals said...

this is so wonderful! just catching up now... thanks for the mention. you're the sweetest. you two have had a pretty amazing year! 2012 can only get better. xo

ps. we miss you!